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Create Startup/Shutdown Logos

Here is a technique describing how to replace the Win95 startup and shut down logo screens.

You can take any 640-by-480 bitmap file and use it in place of Windows 95 cloud-covered startup or shut-down screen or the one that says "It is now safe to turn off your computer". Currently, Windows uses the logo.sys (root directory on your hard drive), logow.sys and logos.sys (both in the Windows folder) files, respectively, but if you open your bitmap file in MSPaint and save it under one of these names, Windows 95 will use yours instead.

There are two very important tricks to this: One, the bitmap files have to be 256 Color Bitmap; and, two, you have to shrink your 640-by-480 bitmaps to 320 by 400 for Windows 95 to even use them. (Windows takes a 320-by-400 file and stretches it to 640 by 480 for each of these three screens.)

NOTE: Before you go replacing the old ones, though, you'll want to save them under different names, in case you want them in the future.

Launch Paint (it's under Accessories), then choose Open under File and select All Files under "Files of type." Now open each of the three files (remember, LOGO.SYS is on your hard drive, and the other two are in the Windows folder) and rename them. (If you don't see them in Paint's Open dialog box, from any window, choose Options under View, and on the View tab, select Show all files.)

For example, in the root directory (C:\), select LOGO.SYS, choose Save As under File, and name it LOGO2.SYS (or whatever helps you remember it, just as long as it's different than the original name). Click OK, move on to the Windows folder, and then rename the LOGOS.SYS and LOGOW.SYS files.

To get your image(s) to the size that Windows wants--320 by 400 pixels--launch Paint and open one of the 640-by-480 bitmap images. Choose Stretch/Skew under Image. Select Horizontal, change the percentage to 50, and choose OK. You're halfway there. Open the Stretch/Skew dialog box again, but this time you select Vertical. To change the height from 480 to 400 pixels, and you will have to make two changes: set the Vertical stretch to 104 & choose OK, then you go back to the same dialog box and set it to 80. Choose OK, and there's your new resized image, now 320 x 400 pixels. Check in the Attributes dialog box (under Image) to prove it. (By the way, you can't just change the attributes here and expect your bitmap to shrink. Also you must repeat these steps for each bitmap you want to use.

Open each 320-by-400-pixel file in Paint, pull down the File menu, chose Save As, and type in the name of the screen for which you would like to use this image--LOGO.SYS for the startup screen, LOGOW.SYS for the cloud screen you see at shutdown, or LOGOS.SYS for the "It is now safe to turn off your computer" screen. Then, under "Save as type," select 256 Color Bitmap (if it isn't already selected). Click OK, and your bitmap is officially saved as one of the Windows 95 logo screens.

NOTE: If you'd like, repeat the same steps (saving them under each of the three given logo names, of course) for up to three different bitmap files. That's it. Now let's see if they work.

Ready (you did use the correct file names, right?) Get set (as long as the bitmaps are the correct size and type, there's no reason this won't work)...shut down your system. You'll see the file you saved as LOGOW.SYS first, then the LOGOS.SYS screen second, to let you know you can safely turn off your computer. Now give your keyboard the ol' Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart your system, wait a few minutes, and--there's that new LOGO.SYS file! Beats those clouds any day, doesn't it?

Well, if you followed the instructions, you should now have some interesting Windows 95 startup and shutdown screens. The question is, if you have bitmaps that are not 640 by 480 pixels, can you use them anyway? Of course! You could always figure out the math to size it to 320 by 400, but an easier way is to make the bitmap as close as you can to 320 x 400, put a frame around it to make it exact.

With your image displayed in Paint (already sized to just under 320 by 400), choose Attributes under Image and change the Width and Height to 320 and 400, respectively. Click OK, and your image, plus the white space that appears, is now a 320-by-400-pixel image.

To center the image, choose Select All under Edit, and one at a time, click and drag each frame edge by the handle (using the double-pointed arrow) in to the edge of the original image. Once the original image is framed, use the four-pointed arrow to click and drag it anywhere you want within the white area. Now save the file under one of the logo screen names we discussed in the past four tips (as a 256-Color Bitmap, of course), and you are all set. You will see the frame when the screen appears!

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